A history of the dutch police

Fijnaut Cyrille

A history of the dutch police

Amsterdam, Boom, 2008, 204 p.

ISBN 978-90-8506-456-5

Résumé :

Until recently, the history of the Dutch police in the nineteenth and twentieth century had never been the subject of extensive scolarly research. Thanks to an initiative led by a number of chiefs of police and police authorities, however, this area has now been researched in detail, culminating in a series of volumes written by Prof. Cyrille Fijnaut (project leader), Dr Guus Meershoek, Dr Jos Smeets, and Dr Ronald van der Wal. The four volumes examine the history of the municipal police, the national police, the police unions, and the police system in general, starting with the period of the Netherlands’ brief incorporation into the French Empire in 1810-1813. The series is completed by a fifth volume, a paperback summary by Cyrille Fijnaut, which is here translated into English.
The book opens with a discussion of how the police system gradually emerged in the mid-nineteenth century, why it became increasingly divided by opposing forces around 1900, and how in the 1930s these divisions resulted in an embittered power struggle. The second part of the book details the reorganization of the police under the German occupation of the Netherlands during the Second World War, and the deployment of the police in the service of occupying force. The laborious process of coming to terms with the recent past in the aftermath of the occupation, right up to the turbulent 1960s, is subsequently examined. The final chapter outlines why, despite major problems in maintaining public order and combating crime, the process of reorganizing the police over recent decades could only proceed one step at a time

Cyrille Fijnaut is a professor at the Faculty of law of Tilburg University. His doctoral thesis (1979) discussed the political history of the police in Europe, and since then he has published many books and articles on the history of the police in Belgium and the Netherlands as well as the history of international police cooperation

Axe de recherches :

  • ANR – Circulation et construction des savoirs policiers européens (1650-1850)

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